Court To Hear Case On Final Forfeiture Of $8.4m Linked To Patience Jonathan April 12
The case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking the final forfeiture of about $8.4m and N7.4b linked to the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan, failed to go on at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday.
The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, was said to be attending to an urgent matter before the National Judicial Council’s five-man panel set up to investigate the allegations levelled against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad.
The court has now fixed April 12 to hear the matter. On the adjourned date, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun is expected to take oral evidence from parties with regard to the final forfeiture of the monies.
In a judgment delivered on February 28, Justice Olatoregun held that there was conflicting affidavit evidence, which could best be resolved if respective parties were called upon to give oral evidence.
The court reached this decision after the EFCC Counsel, Mr. Oyedepo moved his motion for final forfeiture of the sums to the Federal Government.
However, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Mr. Ige Asemudara, appearing for the respondents, had opposed the move.
The respondents are Patience Jonathan, Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd and Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba.
On January 15, the court admitted electronic pieces of evidence presented by the respondents, which depicted video exhibits showing various business outfits of the third and sixth respondents to show that the sums sought to be forfeited were legitimate funds.
The court then adjourned for judgment. In its judgment, the judge first dismissed an application by the respondents, seeking to set aside the interim forfeiture orders of the sum, made on April 20, 2018.
The court held that it was satisfied that the requirement for the grant of the interim orders was met by the EFCC since it was clear that at the time the interim order was made, there was no pending suit elsewhere.